Salix amygdaloides – Peachleaf Willow

Peachleaf Willow at Petrie Island.

Our tallest native willow growing at its northern range, Peachleaf Willow is widespread in the Ottawa area although considered uncommon in occurrence.

Peachleaf Willow has three distinctive characteristics:

  1. long petioles (leaf stalks), causing the leaves to droop from the twigs;
  2. long lanceolate or lance-ovate leaf tapering to a long, pointed apex; and
  3. upright form in mature trees, which is different from the broad, spreading habitat of Black, Hybrid Crack, and White Willows.
Long petiole, drooping leaves are typical (at Kanata Lakes).

 

Leaf margins are finely serrate, upper surface dull, lower surface usually glaucous (blueish-white) and hairless (glabrous) or sparsely hairy.  The twig can have stipules when the plant is growing quickly.  Mature bark is brown/grey-brown and irregularly furrowed.

 

There are two reliable places to see an abundance of Peachleaf Willows:

  1. Petrie Island along the north shore, where it grows from shrub size to mature trees.  The largest known local Peachleaf Willow grows here (see Notable Trees).
  2. Alvin Runnalls Forest, where there are many large trees in the wetland.

Selected photographs with location coordinates in iNaturalist:

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/33533908 – 71.6 cm DBH Peachleaf Willow at Petrie Island.  See Notable Trees.
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/8528709 – Form, bark, leaves in Marlborough Forest.
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/9177009 – Form, bark, leaves in Ottawa Greenbelt.
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/33535487 – Bark and leaves at Petrie Island.
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/10395503 – Shows how distinctive Peachleaf Willow can be from the distance.  Note the drooping leaves on the upright tree.  In Alexandria.
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/33194190 – Shrub size in Kanata Lakes at the Beaver Pond.
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/49659771 – Large tree at Alvin Runnalls Forest.
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/51689165 – Large tree at the Carp River storm water ponds in Kanata.

 

Peachleaf Willow at Petrie Island.
Peachleaf Willow bark at Petrie Island.
Upright form in Kanata near the Carp River.